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Colman Falls and Holcomb Rock
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Colman Falls and Holcomb Rock

Information from http://jamesriverdamportages.blogspot.com/ Coleman Falls - I had to portage river right do to the steep cliff on the left. I paddled to the right corner as was the only option with a treacherous cliff on river left , and mid-summer everything was CRAZY overgrown, poison ivy and sumac everywhere! The only possibility was an opening in the chain-link fence up a very steep bank where I could pull my kayak up .....but, this put me within the confines of the fenced area of the Hydro Electric Plant. Fortunately, there was a caretaker inside the building, so I asked if I could just drag through their field out their gate and down the road. He said sure, so I broke out my wheels (the best 6 lbs of gear I brought for the whole trip) and rolled through the field, down the road, and put back in below the dam, around 300 yards. Had the caretaker not been there (he left for the day as I was rolling my boat down the gravel road) my only option would have been to skirt the perimeter of the fence where I would have had to bushwhack through shoulder high poison ivy for around 100 yards.Holcomb Rock - I consider this without a doubt the hardest of the 7 portages, by a massive margin. Unless you are in an extremely light boat with no gear, this effort will take you at minimum an hour or so. Portage on River left...I paddled up to the edge of the horse pasture to find 2 horses waiting there for me. I pulled out my trusty wheels again, strapped them to the boat and rolled my boat and gear, about 200 yards down an overgrown trail to the edge of an electric fence. Once at the electric fence, I had a quick lunch and began the chore of taking all the gear out of my boat, then sliding my boat under the fence, along the steep rock face, over the boulders, ultimately down to the area below the dam where there was actually some water...about another 150 yards. Then repeating the process with gear. This area was the exact opposite of below Cushaw and Bedford the day of my portage...plenty of rocks, with NO water flowing over them and barely a trickle over the dam. At the time, all water was diverting into the sluice on river right. I then had to fashion a leash for my kayak and walk it through 2-3 inches of water over slippery algae coated rocks about a quarter mile until I got to a place with more than 6 inches of James where I could actually start paddling again. This was adding insult to injury to an already especially excruciating portage.

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